The Rob Report

HawkeyeNation.com's Senior Writer Rob Howe was on hand in Ann Arbor for the Iowa Michigan game, and has his thoughts on the contest, some observations from the press box that might not have shown up on television, participation observations and much, much more.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN-

INJURY REPORT:

Sean Considine Iowa's starting free safety injured his left foot in the first half. He came out in the second half on crutches with his foot in a plaster cast up to his knee.

Head Coach Kirk Ferentz said that Sean hurt his ankle, and they were waiting for a more in-depth report. After seeing Sean leave the stadium on crutches, it looked pretty serious.

Brian Ferentz The coach's son dressed again, but did not see any action. Brian underwent offseason knee surgery.

Kirk said that the opportunity did not arise to get Brian in the game. He would see how things went this week and if the situation calls for Brian to be inserted next week,

FRESH FACES:

Iowa true freshmen dressed out – Adam Shada, Charges Godfrey and Seth Olsen.

NEWS & NOTES:

Norm's Back - Defensive coordinator Norm Parker returned to his coaching position after illness kept him away from the game field for the first three weeks. Norm sat in the press box in a wheel chair.

Norm was driven to the locker room on a golf cart after the game. An Iowa official assisted Norm, who was limping noticeably and really didn't look well. He has lost weight and appeared very tired.

Quick Change - On second and goal on the first drive, Iowa used a three wide out, one back formation from which QB Drew Tate managed a short gained.

On third and goal, the Hawkeyes utilized a two tight end, fullback set with Tom Busch at FB. The maximum protection allowed Tate adequate time to find lone WR Ed Hinkel on the corner route – or, maybe we should call in the Hinkel Heave.

Starting Offensive Line – LT Lee Gray, LG Mike Jones, C Mike Elgin, RG Ben Gates, RT Pete McMahon. The unit played the whole game.

Head Game – Iowa backup tight end Ryan Majerus held on Michigan's first punt allowing the Wolverines' drive to continue after they were about to go three-and-out.

After a few minutes of working the officials, Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz inconspicuously walked passed Majerus, pointed at his temples with his two index fingers and yelled something while looking down at the ground.

Kirk might not single a player our in public, but he certainly will express to him when he is not pleased.

Welcome Back – Backup quarterback Jason Manson dressed out for the game after missing the first three weeks with a broken bone in his foot.

Jason, one of the most excited and well-liked Hawkeyes by teammates, sent in the offensive singles from the sideline.

Between the first and second quarters, he could be seen inspiring RB Jermelle Lewis with pats on the back and a pep talk. The QB also appeared to be giving the fellow Connecticut native some tips on where to run.

Walner's Way – The Iowa coaches found ways to get junior college transfer Walner Belleus onto the field after he shined as one of the few bright spots in last week's loss at ASU.

Belleus returned kicks along side Ed Hinkel. He replaced Warren Holloway, who took over after Albert Young suffered a season-ending injury against Iowa State in Week 2.

Belleus later dropped back for a punt return after Hinkel misplayed one, which elicited a Kirk-writing-on the-notepad moment. Hinkel did return the following punt.

After Michigan's third touchdown, Belleus and Calvin Davis lined up deep for the kick.

Belleus also saw work in Iowa's nickel. Iowa used the alignment more than it had in recent memory.

State of Confusion – After Tate threw a second quarter interception that led to a quick Michigan touchdown, the sophomore sprinted down to discuss something with intended receiver Clinton Solomon.

Solomon appeared to wave off and discount Tate's question before walking away. Tate then approached offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe, who listened for a few seconds before walking the young QB into the sideline huddle.

State of Confusion II – Face with a fourth and short at the Michigan eight early in the third quarter, the Hawkeyes seemed very unsure of what to do. A mass of Iowa coaches and offensive personnel gathered on the sideline before the decision was made to go for the first.

But by the time the offense returned to the field, the play clock was down to eight seconds. Tate then called time out.

The Hawkeyes decided to kick the field goal. You have to wonder if the Hawkeyes would have been better off taking the delay of game penalty and attempting the field goal from five yards farther back instead of burning the timeout.

Iron Men – Iowa's defensive front four played all but a few plays in the first half. The Wolverines officially ran 35 plays before the intermission.

Iowa's used Bryan Mattison in place of Tyler Luebke at tackle in several nickel packages. The first sub at end came in the last minute of the third quarter when Kenny Iwebema replaced Matt Roth on the left side for one play.

The coaches yanked Roth off of the field after the senior was called for his second offside penalty in the third quarter. The miscue aided the Wolverines' third touchdown drive. Roth returned after one play.

Iowa's first teamers lined up for all but four or five plays.

Put Me in Coach – After a couple of short gains by starting running back Jermelle Lewis, his backup Marques Simmons was campaigning to get in the game with RB Coach Carl Jackson.

It looked like Jackson was considering making a change a few times, but never pulled the trigger. Simmons looked pretty unhappy leaving the locker room, which could be attributed to losing as much as not playing.

Face Rake – Tate showed the effects of getting the helmet ripped off of his head in the fourth quarter. The sophomore had a 2-inch cut just to the right of his lips and also some noticeable swelling.


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